Thursday, August 23, 2012

Riley Reflections: Finding A Forever Home

Penned in August 2007, this story appeared in our county humane society's newsletter and was written about a month after we adopted Riley and brought her home. We've now been together for five years.

By Riley Hoskins

Sometimes, it’s funny how a newspaper can change your life. That’s how mine took a turn for the better, paving the way for a forever family and permanent home.

What about that scratch on my nose, Daddy?
Just call me Riley. Everyone else does. In a way, the name almost reflects the uncertainty surrounding the first chapter in my life. Memories of my early days are fuzzy, but it’s tough to describe the little I remember as bad when it led me to where I am today.

They say I may have been abused as a puppy, but no one knows for sure. We don’t even know for sure when my real birthday is, though that V-E-T says I’m currently about 2 years old. All I know for certain is that the mysterious chapter of my life ended one fateful day when I stumbled into a Center Grove neighborhood at the tail end of 2006.

Back then, I was cold, lonely, and so scared that I didn’t even want to go around people – and everyone knows how much I love people! My typically shiny black coat was dirty, more gray than black, and I was tired and hungry and decided to take a break from wandering. There I was, standing in the road near a mailbox when she appeared. She was coming outside for her morning newspaper. Our eyes locked. Not trusting this stranger drawing close, I bolted. That didn’t stop her, and before long I learned her name was Nancy. She put a warm bed with some food on her porch for me and slowly I started going there for food and shelter.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bartholomew Hoskins

You may remember my past post about the origins of my family history work started several years ago. This is a continuation of that, as part of my series publishing my past genealogy research and writing outside of the world.

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When I was tracking the name Hoskins through the generations, I had a solid line dating back to the early 1870s before there was any question. My 2nd great grandfather didn't actually ever talk about his own father, and so that's when it became unclear who was in our line from that point back. Birth, death and marriage records - along with land ownership and wills - helped connect the dots going back to 1790, when there was again uncertainty. I couldn't confirm that my ancestor apparently born that year was actually related to a line of Hoskins dating back to the Civil War days and possibly even to the pre-colonial days.

No documents seemed to exist, since the War of 1812 meant that any historical records from the areas I was searching had been long-lost... and my efforts to find any help in local areas where they were back then didn't offer any leads. It seemed I'd only be able to guess and assume...

Until a Bible page surfaced on a genealogical message board, confirming what I thought: that my family member from 1790 was indeed connected to a line of Hoskins going all the way back to 1600. The past research had all been done and confirmed by historical scholars, and all I was missing was a single generational gap that I now was able to close with a document.

This was probably the single biggest jolt of excitement I'd received during my entire family history project.

And that helped me finally be able to write this next part with confidence: I've got actual historical proof that connects me to past dozen generations in my family (!!!!)

So, without further ado...